Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
New Zealand spinner Bruce Martin has admitted that he is “a bit gutted” at not being offered a contract for the upcoming domestic season.
Each domestic side in New Zealand is allowed a maximum of 15 contracted players, but none of them, including Auckland, which was Martin’s old team, decided to give him a contract.
“I saw the New Zealand thing coming because the Bangladesh tour wasn’t a great tour for me,” Martin told Dominion Post. “But I thought I had a massive part to play in the Auckland team, especially them being a young side.
“I was keen to push on. I’d had a good couple of seasons and I wasn’t far off 400 first-class wickets.
“I thought by pushing me out, Auckland were making room for Bhupinder Singh, then they got Tarun Nethula in, who is about as old  as I am, so it’s a funny one. I’m a bit gutted. It came as a surprise. But it’s professional sport. It comes and goes, so I can’t really complain.”
Martin, who was taken 355 first-class wickets, also pointed out that his history of injuries could have been a factor in Auckland not offering him a new contract.
“I played a bit injured last season in the four-dayers and wasn’t as good as I should have been. I probably paid for that in the end, so it is what it is,” he said. “My rehab [tendonitis in the knee] was going real well. But the management told me ‘we don’t think your rehab is going very well so we aren’t going to contract you’. They got me in a meeting. We talked about my goals and they said ‘we aren’t going to contract you’, so it was unexpected.”
Martin is now considering playing club cricket, and conceded that it is almost impossible for him to make a comeback.
“I came from a club cricketer four years ago to a Black Cap, so the thought of doing that again from nothing doesn’t sit well with me,” he said. “I thought about it, but it would just prolong things. It is probably time up for me. I’ve had my fun.”
While New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZPA) chief executive, Heath Mills, agreed that Martin’s situation was “unusual”, he stated that there was nothing the organisation could do.
”I was surprised no one picked him up,” Mills said. ”I’ve not heard of a situation where a player goes from a New Zealand contract to no domestic contract. Effectively he is being told to transition out of the sport, by virtue of no contract.
”We don’t recommend players to other provinces ahead of other members because that is to the detriment of other players. We just make sure the ranking are done according to the criteria. That’s all I can do. At the end of the day, it is not for us to decide who gets a contract.”